About Death

I saw a documentary about a polar bear a few days ago. He was the father polar bear and he swam miles and miles out to sea to try to hunt for food for the mother bear and the baby bear. I watched, captivated as his powerful arms swayed circles through the icy sea. He looked like a king, dignified, unshakable, strong. After swimming for days, after losing half his body weight, he swam upon land and attempted with the last of his strength to hunt a walrus. He failed as he was just too tired and was unable to try any longer. The camera followed him as he carved a place in the snow and laid himself down for the last time. He never complained about his fate, he just gently put his head down and closed his eyes. If only we as humans could be so brave.

Every autumn, the leaves turn red, yellow and orange and fall from the trees. Just six months ago they were newly budded and sprang out of the tree. As things turn cold, plants and animals die and make room for the new to be reborn in the spring.

And as the precious time of those we love come to an end, other precious times begin. Each ending makes way for a new beginning just as a naked branch makes room for a brand new bud in the spring. But that is not much comfort being left here on earth while the ones we love pass on. Life is beautiful, love is beautiful-but no one ever said it would be easy. No one ever said there would be no pain.

Why do the people that we love so much always seem to die too soon?

I don’t think that there is ever a great time to say goodbye to the ones we love the most. I will say, however, if you have unfinished business, finish it.

-One way is to take some time alone in the quiet and close your eyes. Let your thoughts be at peace and bring your loved one to your mind’s eye. Let the image become more vivid as you relax. Tell them what you need to tell them. Tell them goodbye. Tell them you’re sorry (if you need to) and ask for forgiveness. Tell them whatever it is you wished you could say until you’ve said it all. When you are finished, listen. I believe that your loved ones can hear you.

-Ask yourself what you can do to honor this love. It may be following a dream you always talked about, or showing kindness to those you meet. It may simply be loving yourself unconditionally, the way he/she did.

-Remember, each moment that you have is a gift. The relatively short time you have with the ones that you love is a treasure worth more than gold. Be grateful for the time you DID have.

Death is a gift in an ugly package. It reminds us to live our lives to the fullest, to take nothing for granted. It reminds us to pay attention to the people we love and to be compassionate to others. It gives us room to embrace the new. It is our teacher and our fate, but as Einstein said “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed”. Perhaps it is merely the start of another great adventure.

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